By Linda Murdock
This June, as I watched my daughter pack up her life and prepare to move to Charleston, SC for work on the musical theater stage, I couldn’t help but notice all of her shoes neatly lined up in the hallway. She would say that she never has enough of the “right” shoes to complete her wardrobe, but she has quite an array: flats, slides, sandals, stilettos, and pumps (not to mention the ones she left behind in her bedroom closet). I guess when you’re 5’3″ and “twenty-something” you can play through the pain for the sake of fashion.
Coincidentally, all summer I’ve been on the lookout for Biblical metaphors about “beautiful feet” as our Sunday morning Women’s Bible study read through Judy Reamer’s “The Parable of the Shoes.” We learned that we are on a journey through life, starting as a barefoot infant and progressing through many pairs and a wide variety of shoes that take us down paths that may or may not reflect Jesus’ love. For example, I could live in faithful flip flops year ’round and always be ready to take action, but they really don’t support my feet and give me the quality and speed of good walking shoes.
I’ve taken several interesting walks this summer too, usually wearing my “Easy Spirit” comfort shoes. Some with friends and family, others by myself surrounded by the majesty of God’s creation. It reminds me that God is like an old shoe in that He fits me perfectly and supports me on the journey of life. He doesn’t want me to stumble, fall, or lose my way. I can trust in Him for everything. He is my GPS, map, and guidebook! I may change my “look” and kick up my heels occasionally, but He still sees me for what I am…His own dear child.
Because Jesus promises to bless me with a comfortable soul, I can relax and build relationships with others in my faith community. There’s no need to feel pretentious or to put on airs. Women who share a love of shoes and also love their Lord are officially my “soul sisters.” When we meet at church or during the week, we are there to listen, mentor, encourage, and pray for one another. Then we are empowered to go out and serve with our “beautiful feet.”
I think it’s important to intentionally spend time with other women of faith who are in the Word and walking with the Lord. Whether it’s a Bible study, coffee break, retreat, rally, or workshop, these are all focused learning opportunities designed to get us thinking, charge our batteries, and teach us how to disciple one another. Others get the chance to know us better and help us to see ourselves in a new light. They restore a frenzied spirit and offer new balance and perspective on life, with Christ at the center. And when you know your shoe size, you’re better able to fit in where you are needed to serve. It’s the “Dr. Scholl” approach to making everyone feel cared for, comfortable, refreshed, and confident.
So what’s the next step? Put up your feet! Take time for God by taking time for yourself! Do a little “soul searching” and get away without distractions and responsibility. Your friends and family will see the difference; because when your feet are happy, everyone around you is happy too! Making the decision to know and follow Jesus better is always a challenge, but it never disappoints because your feet are pointed in the right direction! Discover what God has to say about walking in His footsteps, then read Romans 10:15 and apply it to your daily life. You are on your way to being a messenger for Jesus. Ready, Set, Go!
The Beautiful Feet women’s retreat hosted by Living Water will be held the first weekend in October.